Workers' compensation legislation introduced by state lawmakers
January 15, 2013
New York state lawmakers have so far introduced 16 separate legislative proposals that deal with workers' compensation insurance. They include measures to:
- authorize the care and treatment of injured workers by acupuncturists;
- exempt occupational diseases caused by tobacco smoke from a statute that requires injured workers to file a claim within two years after knowing that the disease was due to the nature of employment;
- provide that assessments of self-insurers, the State Insurance Fund and all insurance carriers for the workers' compensation special disability fund shall be based on 110 percent, rather than 150 percent, of total disbursements from the fund during the preceding year, less the amount of the fund's net assets as of Dec. 31 of such preceding calendar year;
- exempt injured workers injured by a sexual assault from the exclusive remedy of workers' compensation;
- require employers of farm workers to provide workers' compensation coverage and grant a host of other rights, including collective bargaining and overtime pay; and
- authorize the Workers' Compensation Board to approve a monthly dollar allowance or treatment frequency for an injured worker to continue specialized treatment for workers whose injuries are long-term or permanent.
Additionally, Gov. Cuomo outlined a number of workers' compensation initiatives in his State of the State address, including proposals to resolve employer group self-insurance trust liability; combine all of the workers’ compensation assessments into one assessment and create a single process for calculating assessments irrespective of how an employer maintains workers’ compensation coverage; and reducing costs for stakeholders by closing unnecessary funds.